Perfect "Transitional" Fall Harvest Salad
Photo by Mayreni: Fall Harvest Salad
It's that time of year again when the leaves are falling, the debate over whether or not PSL's are overrated, and digging out your knit sweaters from the back of your closet. At least that's what I assume most of the northern hemisphere is doing because here in California, we are barely ushering in somewhat cooler temperatures. Somewhat.
No matter the temperature gauge, it is technically Fall, which is my signal to start cooking pumpkin, squash, and root veggie recipes. This new recipe, I declare, is the perfect "transitional" recipe from the warmer to cooler months. It has the fresh and light qualities that we love about Summer dishes, but it meets the warm and nutty vibes of Fall. Here's a little teaser of what you're about to enjoy:
The warmth from the roasted veg, the sweetness of the squash, the zing from the vinegar, the crunch from the fresh lettuces, the earthy and nutty walnuts, and the surprise hint of mint will leave you with a Remy from Ratatouille experience:
(Literally me when I try ingredient combos that are BOMB).
Now presenting my Transitional Fall Harvest Salad that is so easy to make and will no doubt become a recipe in your Fall repertoire!
Makes 1 serving (double the ingredients if want to make two servings).
Ingredients (see picture below for ingredient guide):
Butternut squash (pre-cut is okay and will save on time)
Olive oil or avocado oil (expeller-pressed)
Oak leaf lettuce
Apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and prep two baking sheets lined with parchment.
Snap a single asparagus so that the “woody” part breaks a part. Use this as a measuring guide to cut the rest of the asparagus the same length.
Rinse asparagus and pat dry with towel. Put on baking sheet, drizzle olive or avocado oil and sprinkle a generous pinch of salt. Mix well and make sure the asparaguses are not crowded together or overlapping or else they will not roast evenly.
If using pre-cut butternut squash, skip to step 5. Whole butternut squash: Peel squash using a sharp peeler, then cut butternut squash in half the long way. Scoop out seeds with a spoon, and cut half of the squash into medium sized chunks. If your squash is quite small, you can roast all of it or save the other half for later (ideas include: spaghetti squash, butternut squash soup, or pre-cut and freeze the rest)
On the second sheet pan, place the squash chunks and drizzle oil, salt, and toss well so that everything is coated evenly. Make sure to not overcrowd squash.
Place squash on the medium rack and asparagus on the bottom rack of oven. The asparagus will take 10-15 minutes to cook and the squash will take about 30-40 min. Be sure to check on the asparagus because they are very thin and will roast quite fast.
Wash and dry 3-4 leaves of oak leaf lettuce. Then tear or chop them and place in a mixing bowl. (I like to tear the lettuce with my hand for a more rustic look).
Using a mandolin, shave your endive and place in the mixing bowl. If you do not have a mandolin, use a very sharp knife to thinly cut the endive starting from it tip to its root base.
Tear or thinly slice 1 or 2 pieces of the Castelfranco radicchio and place in mixing bowl.
In the salad mixing bowl that has your lettuces:
10. Drizzle 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar.
11. Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice.
12. With hands, mix together the lettuces until everything is well incorporated.
13. When veggies are finished roasting, add as much asparagus and butternut squash to to your serving as you'd like (add more salt if roasted veggies need more flavor) and toss to combine everything.
14. Transfer to your serving plate and top with chopped raw walnuts and a drizzle of tahini.
Picture guide to ingredients mentioned:
Clockwise: mint, Castelfranco raddichio, oak leaf lettuce, thin asparagus, (center) endive.